What is a Trust?
A trust is a fiduciary arrangement in which a third party or trustee can manage certain properties for the benefit of another person — also known as the beneficiary. There are many ways a trust can be organized to specify how assets will be distributed to beneficiaries. While there are many different types of trusts, they all can offer the following benefits:
- Control of how distributions are executed - You can set the terms of your trust and control who distributions should be made to, as well as a timeline in which you would like it to be distributed.
- Protect your estate - A well-constructed trust can protect your estate from any heirs’ creditors or beneficiaries that may not be savvy in managing financials.
- Avoid probate - Avoiding probate can reduce court fees and certain taxes.
Why You Need a Will
Having a will keeps you in control of your estate. In the event of your passing, without a will, your state’s laws will decide who gets your property and assets. Having a last will and testament in place can help with the following:
- Reduce family conflicts - A will that states your wishes can help reduce tension between family members. Wills are especially helpful in situations of divorce and blended families.
- The care of your children - Many parents are concerned about the welfare of their children in the event of their passing, especially if they are young. A will can name guardians of your choosing.
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements - Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements overrule any conditions outlined in a will in probate court. While these agreements set the terms of property rights and ownership in the event of a divorce, they also outline how each spouse can write a will and how property is to be dispersed if one spouse dies. In this case, it’s best to contact an experienced estate attorney to help make sure your wishes are carried out after your passing.
A will can also assist with living wills and Obamacare, as well as DNRs and medical power of attorney.
International Estate Planning
Estate planning for individuals who have properties and assets located outside of the United States can be extremely complicated, so having an attorney who understands how it works can ensure that your international estate plan is set up properly.
Having an international estate plan in place can avoid a host of problems in the event of your passing, such as minimizing the amount of taxes required for your property that will be passed on to your loved ones. It will also allow you to avoid the costs and time involved in the probate process.At Auten & Willingham, P.C., our experienced wills and estate attorneys can provide thorough legal advice and answer your questions regarding your overall estate plan. Call us at (214) 643-8757 today to learn more about how we can assist you with all your estate planning needs.